Any even =better= Xmas wish...... 1) Re-open Manzy for a date and run 'em there...... 2) then run 'em at Perris and I-dale...... 3) then truck 'em up to Calistoga. (All three dirt shows along sprint cars, of course.) (Well...)
Oval racing at Irwindale Speedway, shuttered for a year because of bankruptcy and a financial quagmire, will return in 2013 with a new operator.
211 Entertainment, which has helped operate the facility's drag strip this year, has signed a long-term lease with property owners Nu-Way Industries to handle all of the facility.
The agreement will officially be announced on Tuesday.
"It will be a rejuvenated Irwindale Events Center," said 211 president Jim Cohan. "We look forward to great family entertainment and we will welcome everyone back."
Cohan said the name change has been made - the third different name in the facility's history - to better reflect the property's usage, which has included racing on the oval track, weekly street-legal drag racing, fairs, concerts and movie and film usage.
"We're very, very grateful for the pro-active approach Nu-Way has taken," Cohan said.
The agreement was signed on Friday. Cohan would not divulge terms of the lease,
Irwindale Speedway LLC, which built the facility in 1999, filed for bankruptcy last February. Cohan's 211 Entertainment was operating a race-car driving school at the facility at the time, L.A. Racing Experience, and never was affected by the closure. Cohan formed Irwindale Events Center and began organizing drag racing and other activities for Nu-Way.
One major difference from the past is that the track will not have weekly racing.
"Weekly racing was not working," Cohan said. "We'll race every third Saturday or once a month rather the same thing day in and day out.
"We won't have as many divisions. It will not be a partial season. It will be a full season. It will not be as often, but it will be much more dynamic."
Cohan met with the owners of the newly built Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, which opens in March, and said the two groups will create a joint rulebook and have schedules so that racers can compete at both venues. Tech officials could also work at both facilities.
"There is no financial partnership," Cohan said. "We have a very cooperative spirit with them."
That includes opening nights. Neither has set a formal opening night and Cohan said that he will not determine Irwindale's opener until Kern County has a set date.
Cohan said that he expects a racing schedule to be in place by the end of the year.
Mike Atkinson, who was hired as the race director for the final 2011 Irwindale race, will be the center's race director. Bob Klein, who helped transform the center's development after the bankruptcy hearing, is the chief operating officer and Doug Stokes has been named vice president.